• 23 Apr 2014 /  Lists

    *According to me! Me, me, me! So expect to see some of your faves missing.

    I’m both happy and sad to have reached the end of this mammoth task.

    To reiterate the placings on this list, these 100 titles were picked from 631 slasher films I’ve seen over 20 odd years, so even to reach the ‘lower’ echelons of the chart means they’re awesome.

    See full rundown of notes: #100-91

    100. Slumber Party Massacre III (1990)
    99. The Prowler (1981)
    98. Tormented (2009)
    97. Bloody Homecoming (2012)
    96. Stagefright (1986)
    95. He Knows You’re Alone (1980)
    94. Sleepaway Camp (1983)
    93. Intruder (1988)
    92. Unhinged (1982)
    91. A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985)

    #90-81

    90. Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981)
    89. Madman (1981)
    88. Child’s Play 2 (1990)
    87. Camping Del Terrore (1986)
    86. Final Exam (1981)
    85. Club Dread (2002)
    84. Boogeyman 2 (2007)
    83. Wishcraft (2001)
    82. Opera (1987)
    81. Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)

    #80-71

    80. Happy Birthday to Me (1981)
    79. Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
    78. 7eventy 5ive (2007)
    77. Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning
    (1985)
    76. Scream 3 (2000)
    75. My Super Psycho Sweet 16 (2009)
    74. Hellbent (2004)
    73. Death Bell (2008)
    72. Maniac Cop (1988)
    71. Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)

    #70-61

    70. Coda (1987)
    69. The Funhouse (1981)
    68. Some Guy Who Kills People (2012)
    67. Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
    66. Bloody Bloody Bible Camp (2012)
    65. Pandemonium (1982)
    64. Bride of Chucky (1998)
    63. The Pool (2001)
    62. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988)
    61. Venom (2005)

    #60-51

    60. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)
    59. Tenebrae (1982)
    58. The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)
    57. Killer Party (1986)
    56. Fatal Games (1983)
    55. Julia’s Eyes (2010)
    54. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
    53. Deadly Blessing (1981)
    52. Sorority Row (2009)
    51. Final Destination 5 (2011)

    #50-41

    50. The House on Sorority Row (1982)
    49. Cold Prey III (2010)
    48. Hot Fuzz (2007)
    47. Psycho II (1983)
    46. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
    45. The Burning (1981)
    44. Terror Train (1980)
    43. Hollow Man (2000)
    42. Session 9 (2001)
    41. Anatomy (2000)

    #40-31

    40. Malevolence (2005)
    39. Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
    38. Psycho Beach Party (2000)
    37. Shredder (2001)
    36. Flashback (1999)
    35. Ripper: Letter from Hell (2001)
    34. You’re Next (2011)
    33. Scream 4 (2011)
    32. Mask Maker (2010)
    31. Cut (2000)

    #30-21

    30. Haute Tension (2003)
    29. Wilderness (2006)
    28. Final Destination 2 (2003)
    27. Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000)
    26. Friday the 13th (2009)
    25. Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers (1988)
    24. Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
    23. A Bay of Blood (1971)
    22. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
    21. Prom Night (1980)

    #20-11

    20. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
    19. Hell Night (1981)
    18. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)
    17. April Fool’s Day (1986)
    16. Wrong Turn (2003)
    15. Cold Prey II (2008)
    14. The Initiation (1983)
    13. I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)
    12. Scream (1996)
    11. My Bloody Valentine (1981)

    THE CRAWFORD TOP 10

    10. Scream 2 (1997)

    I know, I know… ‘Sequels suck’ might be the general theme of much of Scream 2, but in terms of everything I want out of a slasher film, this one brings it in droves, therefore making it just that tiny bit superior to the first in my eyes.

    A couple of years after the Woodsboro murders, Sidney and Randy are at a handsome college when the premiere of the film-based-on-the-book-based-on-the-killings kickstarts a new series of slayings on and around campus. Dewey and Gale are on hand to posit theories, and Cotton Weary has been released from prison after his exoneration – but who is killing everyone and why?

    Scream 2, like Final Destination 2, may lack the fresh originality of its predecessor, but sets the bar: Everything is that little bit more polished, the rules established, and the in-jokes more fitting. And for a film that clocks in just shy of 2 hours, it’s never boring (OK, that Greek-play scene maybe). By my decree, the best of its series.

    Crowning moment: Sarah Michelle Gellar – surely THE icon of the era – is a sorority girl alone in the house when the weird calls begin…

    9. Psycho (1960)

    Where would we be without Psycho? Listen to some evangelists and they’d likely say in a better world, But fuck them. That Hitchcock was British means that the ‘American Slasher Film’ owes a lot to our fair shores. Anyway, Jane Leigh steals money on a whim, runs away from her life, but makes the fatal error of checking in off the beaten track at the Bates Motel, where she relaxes a little, has a sarnie with the manager, Norman, and takes a shower…

    It just works. Considering how ‘small’ the plot is in correlation to the 104 minute (PAL!) runtime of the film, it’s completely engaging, flawlessly made, and one of the most important films in history. Just imagine if Hitch had been around to make an 80s slasher flick…

    Crowning moment: THAT shower scene.

    8: Final Destination (2000)

    Average Joe high schooler Alex foresees a plane crash minutes before its departure and gets himself and a few classmates thrown off, only to see his vision come true shortly afterwards.

    Later, as the seven surviving ejectees try to move on with their lives, a series of sinister accidents begin claiming them one by one, as if some supernatural dustpan and brush has come to sweep up the lost souls. Alex suspects that Death itself is balancing the books and now every surrounding object is capable of conspiring to take them out.

    Comparing this film to its sequels reveals a stark contrast: The characters consider their own mortality, question greater forces controlling their fate, and radiate genuine emotions largely absent in the following movies, that just served up stupid characters to be annihilated, tits, and little to say on the fragility of life.

    Crowning moment: The plane crash – at the time criticised for exploiting the huge similarities to the 1996 TWA800 disaster – is expertly realised and fucking terrifying.

    7: Cold Prey (2006)

    Norway might not carry much weight in international film production, but neigh-sayers be damned when it comes to this back-to-basics slasher that practically redefines the meaning of the word tension.

    Five snowboarders drive into the mountains for a days’ shredding only for one to wipeout and break his leg. They take shelter in a closed-down ski-lodge and bed down for the night, only to realise that it already has an anti-social inhabitant to intends on shredding them.

    While every trope gets a tick, Cold Prey executes them all the same kind of European style that put fellow Euro-slasher Haute Tension on this list: New landscapes, cultural difference, and language ‘freshen’ up the usual cliches and when it’s down to just the final girl versus the hulking killer, if you’re anything like me you’ll be yelling at your screen for her to run faster, hit harder, and avoid that swinging pick-axe.

    Crowning moment: The first murder; brutal, necessary, but almost heartbreaking.

    6: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

    The brilliant simplicity of “Stay awake or you’ll die” is 90% of Elm Street‘s excellence: A quartet of teenagers discover they’re each having bad dreams about a fire-scarred guy with ‘knives-for-fingers’ who wants to kill them. Only Nancy (Heather Langenkampenschwartzenberger) takes it remotely seriously and her probing begins to uncover a dreadful secret that her parents have been keeping from her.

    Like Psycho, Freddy Krueger’s impact on pop culture was phenomenal. People who’d never even seen the films were fans in the 80s: Throw in rap videos, toys, a TV series and all those sequels, Elm Street merched its way into the annals of horror history.

    But the original film shouldn’t be understated. Though some of the acting and effects work is quirky at best, some of the nightmare themes are petrifyingly familiar, and Nancy’s vain attempts to get anyone to believe she’s anything less than crazy are as frustrating to witness as they are for her character to endure. Perfect horror.

    Crowning moment: Nancy’s mom eventually folds and tells her daughter the horrible truth. In a scene cut from the movie, a deceased sibling once existed, a powerful motivator that would’ve added an emotional punch.

    5: Urban Legend (1998)

    The controversial entrant. Those familiar with Vegan Voorhees will know just how much I stan for this film. Those who aren’t are likely saying WTF!? Third-tier 90s horror it might be, but everything in Urban Legend is cheese-tastically great: The ludicrous plot, the identity of a killer who could never hope to pull it off (but does!), a serious actress as the final girl having to utter the line: “It’s like somebody out there is taking all these stories and making them reality!” without laughing…

    So, college kids at a haughty North Eastern campus are being tormented by a Parka-clad killer who bases their murders on those friend-of-a-friend folklore tales. These coincide with their class on the subject, taught by Robert Englund. Everyone thinks it’s got to do with a 25-year-old massacre at the school, although the audience knows for sure that heroine Natalie’s nasty secret is a more likely candidate.

    A game cast of semi-knowns occasionally look a bit embarrassed about the material, but it only adds to the appeal of Urban Legend‘s unmatched ridiculousness. Alicia Witt was an ambitious and awesome choice for the lead, and that climactic scene out-bitches Mean Girls tenfold. You can try to dissuade me, but you’ll never do it.

    Crowning moment: Couple in a car in the woods, guy gets out to relieve himself, takes a while, the girl starts to hear scratching on the roof…

    4. Black Christmas (1974)

    Girls at a sorority house being plagued by a series of bizarre and unpleasant phone calls during the festive season are soon targeted by a mystery killer who has taken up residence in their attic. Police and a worried parent are thrown into the mix when a pretty co-ed disappears, while heroine Jess (Olivia Hussey) finds herself with a personal crisis that may or may not be related to what’s happening (and is something you’d never see taken so seriously in such a lowly genre these days).

    Once pulled from a TV showing for being “too frightening”, Black Christmas did first a lot of what Halloween ultimately got credit for. But the two are evenly matched, this one focusing in on the characters at the centre of the carnage over and above the horror, most of which comes in one big hit towards the end.

    Excellent performances from all, especially Margot Kidder as the vulgar alcohol-fancying Barb, and John Saxon as, you guessed it, a detective, giving him two entries in this Top 10.

    Crowning moment: A festive choir of angelic-voiced kids serenade Jess with a chorus of O Come All Ye Faithful while a murder is occurring in an upstairs bedroom. Expertly done  twisted beauty.

    3: Halloween (1978)

    You thought it was going to win, right? Will this is Vegan Voorhees, not Meat-eating Myers, so it’s bronze position for the most influential slasher film around. Why is it third? I would just rather watch the Top 2, that’s all. Nothing can be said to denigrate how fucking amazing Halloween is. I haven’t dared try and review it in case I screw up. It’s that important.

    Nobody hasn’t seen it, but I’ll recycle the plot anyway: Boy murder sister on Halloween night. Fifteen years later, he breaks out of his institution and returns to the town of Haddonfield to do it again. And again. And again. His chosen targets are the friends of shy babysitter Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). Onlysheis cautious enough to pay attention to some of the weird things happening during the school day. And when night falls…

    What else is there to say? Astounding brilliant in every possible way: Creepy, scary, never for a moment boring. Only gorehounds might object to the general lack of grue.

    Crowning moment: Laurie’s gradual increase of paranoia – who’s the guy across the street? in the car? behind the hedge?

    2. Friday the 13th (1980)

    Camp Crystal Lake has been closed for over twenty years after an unsolved double murder and recurrent bouts of bad luck every time anybody’s tried to re-open it. When a group of teenage counsellors arrive to set up shop, they’re stalked and slain by a shadowy psycho with an array of cutting implements and a grudge to settle.

    I first saw Friday the 13th in the early hours of a June night back in the 90s. It changed everything. That first month or so after I watched it twice or three times a week, literally obsessed with it’s rustic, isolated, ambience and almost self-parodying nature. It’s a badly made film by most standards but the technical flaws only emphasize an underdog appeal: There’s nothing arty going on, it’s just distilled stalk n’ slash.

    Because it’s a fairly simple-minded creature, Friday is an open target for all manner of criticisms. There’s nothing much to think about and it was already hugely predictable within months after the scores of clones, which merged parts of Halloween and this to try and conquer.

    I love it, I never get bored of it, and there’s only one other film I’d rather sit down watch…

    Crowning moment: Kevin Bacon’s neck-skewering is an amazing moment, but I love the following scene of Marcie alone in the bathroom cabin as the camera slowly creeps its way ever closer…

    The Greatest* Slasher Film of All Time

    1. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

    Five years after the Camp Crystal Lake murders, a nearby counsellor training center is besieged by a masked maniac with a hard-on for slashing up horny teenagers, which happen to be in plentiful supply. Only wisened-up assistant leader Ginny (Amy Steel) has the smarts to escape from the psycho.

    A few weeks after discovering Friday the 13th, I made it my mission to repeat the experience. Jason Lives and The New Blood had been shown on cable but weren’t quite up to it, I had low-ish expectations for the £5.99 budget label video cassette I picked up in Portsmouth’s HMV.

    Achieving the near-impossible, Friday 2 takes everything awesome from the first film, polishes it until it shines, and then adds half a dozen ejector-seat jump scares and Amy fucking Steel. Amy fucking Steel is the heart of this movie, a final girl forged in horror heaven who proves to be more than a worthy adversary to the B-movie axe murderer named Jason who was supposed to have died years earlier.

    Like Urban Legend, this one ticks all the boxes: Campfire story, pot-smoking over-sexed counsellors, floating POV-work, a convertible VW Beetle! It’s only flaw is that the excised footage of Carl Fullerton’s makeup work has never been restored, never more frustrating than in the two-for-one shish-ke-bob kill lifted from A Bay of Blood.

    An assembly of tweaked-to-perfection genre staples: This is the number one, THE best slasher film out there – deal with it!

    Crowning moment: Ginny runs from the killer into a room and closes the door. Hearing nothing, she slowly reaches for the part-open window behind her… Reaches… Reaches… Glass shatters, he outsmarted her! So begins an epic chase to the end.

    *

    Where the hell is…?

    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) I don’t hate it. I just don’t like it very much. Nobody would be stupid enough to deny its influence on the genre, but it does little for me. In a Top 631, I expect to see it around the #300 mark.

    Halloween II (1981) The dizzying heights of the original film would be a tough act for anyone to follow. Halloween II is a good film, no more, no less. Carpenter’s inserts near the start are the highlight, but an hour of folks-with-no-names-nor-distinguishing-characteristics being killed before a horror-weary looking Jamie Lee Curtis gets out of her hospital bed wasn’t enough. Chart position estimate: #150

    Any other curious absences? Let me know and I’ll tell you why!

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  • 19 Apr 2014 /  Reviews

    PARANORMAL XPERIENCE

      2011/15/87m

    A.k.a. XP3D

    Director: Sergi Vizcaino / Writer: Daniel Padro / Cast: Amaia Salamanca, Alba Ribas, Maxi Iglesias, Ursula Corbero, Luis Fernandez, Oscar Sinela, Manuel de Blas, Eduardo Farelo.

    Body Count: 5

    __________________________________________

    Spain had a great run of internationally acclaimed horror films in recent years from The Orphanage to Julia’s Eyes. But the rule of opposing forces dictates that for each excellent film, you get the likes of The Nun and now Paranonal Xperience 3D!

    The stinger here is that things start so well (just like they did with The Nun), as five failing psychology students volunteer for an experiment concerning the paranormal, to document and disprove/prove the myths of a cursed mining town ‘haunted’ by a dead serial killing doctor.

    To get the gang there, Angela enlists the services of her self-harming sister, Diana, who owns a van big enough to transport them and their equipment. The sisters have a tense relationship that stretches back to the suicide of their father.

    Once in the deserted town of Sasurro, they hypnotise believer Diana, who sees the ‘ghost’ of Dr Matarga released and, as exploring continues, he begins capturing them and killing them one by one.

    Or does he? I figured out the twist as the first murder unraveled, which was disappointingly obvious. Worse still, some of the decent gore FX are totally undermined by an abominable CG blood-spurt from the neck during the climactic scene.

    Up until then, PX was serviceable, though in true 3D form, the structure of the shots take precedence over acting and script. One such shot features a girl’s ass in tight cut-offs taking up most of the screen, while somebody fiddles with a door in the background.

    The secondary “oh, that’ll do!” approach to everything-but-the-3D hangs this one out to dry. A wasted opportunity.

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  • 14 Apr 2014 /  Reviews

    HUMONGOUS

    1981/18/89m

    “Here are the monsters little toys. Once they were little girls and boys.”

    Director: Paul Lynch / Writer: William Gray / Cast: Janet Julian, David Wallace, Janit Baldwin, John Wildman, Joy Boushel, Layne Coleman, Shay Garner, Garry Robbins.

    Body Count: 8

    Laughter Lines: “Wave to Donna, she wants you to see her tits again.”

    _____________________________________________________________________

    Prom Night director Paul Lynch made this ultimately disappointing tale of brothers Eric and Nick, their sister Carla, and girlfriends Donna and Sandy crash their cruiser into rocks amidst a fog in a channel by a remote hole known lovingly as Dog Island.

    A stranded fisherman they pick up informs them the only resident is a scarcely seen mad old lady. Stuck on the island, the teens begin to split up to look for help and find the now missing Carla. To the surprise of nobody except the cast, a maniac is also roaming the overgrown isle with a taste (and not just of the metaphor kind) for teen blood. Turns out that he is the mutant son of said mad dame, the product of a rape seen in the opening few minutes in 1946, and a bit hungry since mom died and cut off his access to the outside world.

    While relatively well pieced together on a visual level, the 89 minutes slog by with all the speed of a one-wheeled shopping cart, and the dimly-lit or totally off-screen murders don’t punctuate these slabs of boredom adequately. As for the cast, Julian does well as the final girl who obviously watched Friday the 13th Part 2 before the boat trip, as she mimics the killer’s dead mother to stop him in his tracks. This is the film’s best scene. The only other impressionable presence is Baldwin as Carla, with her huge glasses and lifejacket, she portrays the only memorable character in a film otherwise filled with assembly-line bimbos and wannabe-Rambo’s.

    Blurbs-of-interest: David Wallace was also in Mortuary; Joy Boushel has a small role in Terror Train; Garry Robbins was one of the three mutant-men in Wrong Turn.

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  • 11 Apr 2014 /  Lists

    *According to me! Me, me, me! So don’t be surprised to find a few curious omissions…

    #100-91 // #90-81 // #80-71 // #70-61 // #60-51 // #50-41 // #40-31 // #30-21

    20: A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

    In many ways the pinnacle of the Elm Street franchise, as well as the first proper horror movie I ever saw (religious parents). Wes Craven returned to help scribe Nancy’s return to the throng after the disappointing returns from the change of direction in Freddy’s Revenge (which I maintain is still a cool film). Nance comes back as an intern at a psyche ward inhabited by a bunch of Krueger-plagued teens. While the final act may falter, the first two acts represent some of the most imaginative stuff around and, for the era, progressive FX work, featuring what are likely to be some of the fan-favourite demises for the beleaguered teens…

    Crowning moment: Although both the ‘vein-puppet’ and the TV-room death register high on the amazing-kill-o-meter, I’ve got to say the DVD extra of spandex-metal band Dokken’s squealy Dream Warriors music video is something else and MUST be seen.

    19. Hell Night (1981)

    Irwin Yablans confidently declared that Hell Night would be bigger than Halloween! However, by the time it’s summer ’81 release rolled around, log-jam and fatigue had set in and nobody really cared… Anyway, Linda Blair and collegiate pals are dared to spend one night in the gloomy Garth Manor to finalise their pledge to a fraternity/sorority combo. Alas, the legends of its ‘haunting’ by a crazed killer turn out to be true…

    Check out its rendering in Lego!

    Crowning moment: Once Blair’s Marti is the last girl standing, she shifts gears into heroine-overdrive and the killer’s denouement is something to behold.

    18: Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)

    Outside of horror circles, this sharp docu-satire is barely known, which is upsetting when you think about how much money Scary Movie probably made… A film crew follow Glen Echo resident Leslie Vernon as he builds up to a massacre he’s planning at an old farmhouse. From selecting his ‘survivor girl’, to dodging his ‘Ahab’ (Robert freakin’ Englund!), Leslie explains how it will all unfold, even taking a moment to discuss phallic weaponry and psychoanalysis of the heroine’s successful survival. Fucking fantastic stuff.

    Crowning moment: My favourite moment will give too much away, but let’s just say the pivot point where the cameras are put down as the killing gets real is very nicely done.

    17: April Fool’s Day (1986)

    Privileged heiress Muffy St. John invites a group of college pals to her island home for Spring Break. They quote Boswell, play AFD jokes and start getting hunted down one by one. Or do they? While largely bloodless, April Fool’s Day is populated by a good cast of nice characters and is better directed and acted than most. I once read a genre guide that gave this film a zero, proclaiming it a cheat, while Return to Horror High received full marks. Riiiiight.

    Crowning moment: Scooby Doo-style mystery solving puts Amy Steel alone in a room with a seemingly PTSD-suffering Muffy, who has a few strange things to say…

    16: Wrong Turn (2003)

    On a West Virginian backroad, a group of campers are stranded after a car accident and find themselves to be the prey of a trio of cannibalistic inbreds. They note the similarity of their situation to Deliverance so critics didn’t have to (but  still did). What ensues is a taut chase through unknown terrain with ever depleting numbers as each and every escape plan is foiled by the psychos.

    Crowning moment: The fleeing campers come across a forest clearing filled with blood-stained cars. A rare sad moment in a horror film as Elisa Dushku questions how they’ve been getting away with it.

    15: Cold Prey II (2008)

    Surviving snowboarder Jannicke is saved and moved to a local hospital where the local cops also bring the bodies of her dead friends and that of the Fjellmannen (killer). He, of course, isn’t quite dead, and embarks on a new spree through the corridors of the hospital, forcing Jannicke to go through it aaaaall again. Yeah, it’s pretty much Halloween II but a gazillion times more interesting. Sequels don’t come much more cohesive and committed, even getting all of the original cast back to play their own corpses.

    Crowning moment: Jannicke says fuck it and decides to turn the tables and become the hunter, leading to an awesome showdown.

    14: The Initiation (1983)

    Sorority pledge Kelly (Daphne Zuniga) has long been plagued by a recurring nightmare. Her new college professor is interested in what it means and begins unraveling a family secret. Meanwhile, Kelly and pals break into a Houston shopping mall as their hazing prank. Unluckily for them, ‘someone’ has broken out of an asylum and is hell bent on killing everybody… Complex plotting (for a slasher film) with a mystery element that, for once, isn’t astoundingly obvious.

    Crowning moment: The all-too-short confrontation between Kelly and the killer. Kitsch as they come but awesome all the same.

    13: I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

    Horror purists condemned this po-faced response to Scream but 17 years on it’s something of a minor classic (the title alone is epic), stocked with era-famous talent. Two teen couples are involved in a hit and run they they cover up; One year later they begin receiving notes and threats pertaining to their crime and, on the July 4th anniversary, a hook-wielding maniac begins stalking and killing them.

    Crowning moment: Quite fittingly, as the film is essentially Prom Night all over again (despite being based on a book written in 1973), there’s a long, drawn out chase, this time featuring Buffy herself, Sarah Michelle Gellar.

    12: Scream (1996)

    Gasp! Not in the Top 10!? Don’t cry just yet. This genre-redefining film is awesome. Awesome. Kevin Williamson did for his characters what audiences had been doing for years – he clued them in. Before Scream, characters in slasher flicks existed like they’d never seen one (with one or two notable exceptions). Teamed with Craven, and right on the back of his series-redefining New Nightmare, they took the best parts of other films to create this satire of the whole enchilada. A party sits around watching Halloween, the ‘rules’ of horror are noted, and yet they still die. Essential viewing for any horror fan.

    Crowning moment: The opening 12 minutes, yeah, it’s a total rip-off of When A Stranger Calls, but Drew Barrymore throws herself into the victim-role with unmatchable intensity.

    11: My Bloody Valentine (1981)

    By this point in the first cycle of stalk n’ slash, no calendar holiday was safe from the swinging blades of a deranged psychopath. Valentine’s Day was soon nabbed in this Canadian slice of sadism in which a spooky Scooby Doo-like miner pick-axes residents of the town of Valentine Bluffs, twentysomething years after “The Murders!” A private party lures him back and a trip into the mine ends up with bodies lying everywhere. The 2009 uncut release improves things tenfold with the MPAA cuts restored.

    Crowning moment: Death by shower head.

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  • 07 Apr 2014 /  Reviews

    GRIM WEEKEND

    2003/18/97m

    A.k.a. S.I.C.K. Serial Insane Clown Killer

    “Five people… One weekend… 12 miles from nowhere… Let the killing begin.”

    Director/Writer: Bob Willems / Writer: Ken Hebert / Cast: Ken Hebert, Amanda Watson, Melissa Bale, Hank Fields, Chris Bruck.

    Body Count: 5

    Laughter Lines: “I guess I’m not used to being trapped in a secluded house with a fucking psychopath!”

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    Grim is a fitting moniker for this staggeringly bad made for TV slasher, which pits four city yuppies and a nubile hitchhiker (who looks like Rebecca Gayheart) against a clown-masked axeman stalking the woods by the country residence one of them owns.

    Formerly repressed memories of Camp Blood flood back thanks to the cheap shot-on-video production values, crappy acting and the fact that absolutely nothing happens for a solid hour after the hazy opening kill. One person vanishes and so the others go looking for her, split up despite the creepy-ass dolls they keep finding amongst the trees, and the husband of said vanishee consents to sex with the horny hitcher instead of looking for his spouse!

    It’s hard to believe that films this bad are still made, let alone unleashed on the shelves of video stores. The dialogue consists mainly of ‘shut the fuck up, bitch’, repeated arguments over who might be behind it, as well as name-checking Scream and Friday the 13th during the same-old-same-old campfire story.

    The film long outstays its welcome and grinds ever closer to the 100 minute mark before the repugnant conclusion and an equally cruddy ‘twist’ that sets things up for a sequel – if anybody is stupid enough to write to the producers praising them on a job well done. Abysmal in every way a film could be.

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